Basil is flourishing this time of the year. If you don’t cut it back every day it begins to flower (very pretty little flowers that make a nice little vase for a table). Once the tiny blossoms are left to their own design, the basil goes into the ‘okay, my season is over so I’ll rest’ mode. That’s the time to cut big bunches and surround yourself with that beautiful fragrance indoors. If guests are coming, one big bunch is awesome. If not, I use it in small bouquets in the kitchen and by my “chair” in the family room. My basil grows in a large pot on an uncovered patio. It loves it’s space and give me glorious basil. Yes, this is a wine blog. You’ll find wine below and a recipe.
The great thing about using basil as a centerpiece is that it stays incredibly fresh for an incredibly long time. We had friends coming for dinner on a Saturday night. I made the arrangement above (plopped a big bunch in a wide vase) on Thursday morning in the cooler temps and by Saturday night it looked as though it I had just been cut. It stayed beautiful for days.
In the photo above you can see the basil leaves filling the inside of the vase – looks very pretty and it doesn’t mind the water. I have much better luck cutting my basil and leaving it in a glass of water on the kitchen cabinet, rather than putting it in the fridge.
For the dinner party I mentioned, I shopped for an inexpensive Malbec as one of our expected guests is enthusiastically attached to that varietal after visiting Mendoza, Argentina. I was tempted to head right to the Salentein Portillo Malbec 2011, a particular favorite, but decided to try an unknown, because…I have a wine blog.
The Diseño Old Vine Malbec is sourced from two unnamed growers in Mendoza and bottled in the U.S. The mammoth Constellation Wines is the importer and the bottler.
The color is deep inky purple with lush violet hues and the legs are pretty amazing for 13.5% alcohol. The nose is spicy, jammy, seductive and prompts taking a sip. The fruit combines blackberries, ripe cherries and mocha. I love finding cherry-essence in my wine.
I’ve had to give some thought to whether I view this wine as medium-bodied or full-bodied and I’ve decided on medium-to-full. The indecision comes from the lovely balance of fruit and alcohol. I have to say I am surprised that this wine ticks all the boxes for great value, interesting nose, good fruit on the palate and an enduring finish because…the fruit is from Mendoza but the wine happens in California. Always suspicious in my opinion but I do like it.
From the label:
Malbec has thrived in Argentina since the 1800s when cuttings were transplanted from their original home in France. Now considered amongst the world’s most distinguished red wines, Malbec flourished in Mendoza.
Argentina’s most highly respected vignerons supply Diseño Malbec from old growth vineyards in Mendoza. Vines grow in fertile soil rich with old mineral deposits, irrigated by heavy winter snow melt from the Andes glaciers.
Diseño Malbec is a rich wine with an inviting bouquet of stone fruit. A hint of coffee complements the blueberry spice and chocolate flavors.
An average price per bottle seems to be about $11.00.
I was visiting Good Things Always and found a recipe for boneless pork ribs. I haven’t tried them yet, but it’s a family recipe so I’m sure it’s all she says it is. How much better does it get than using a slow cooker and serving the next day? We have friends coming from Texas in a couple of weeks and these ribs will be on the menu and Diseño Malbec 2011 may be on the table.